Founder • Scientist • Unicorn
I empower nonprofits and entrepreneurs by creating digital user experiences. My specialties include designing and developing products, processes, and data.
I work remotely with two awesome friends at our agency Deytah. Together, we solve complicated problems with beautiful, simple solutions - with and without code! You can hear more about me, Deytah, and no-code from the BuiltOnAir podcast!
I've shipped some cool stuff alongside my side projects. I'm always adding to my toolbox for no-code solutions, digital design, front-end development and more!
Have a problem you want to solve? Get in touch.
I learn by experimenting.
Side projects are my way of testing out new concepts/strategies and bringing to life some of my very own ideas! Some become Ventures of their own. Others get dusty over time. But they all teach me something I can use in the future.
If you want to support my projects, buy me a coffee!
# Here Are Some Favorites
# Stream Sites
I'm currently working on Stream Sites - a simple way for broadcast-focused content creators to start a website, maximize their audience reach, and take back ownership of their content. JAMstack meets Twitch.
# Data Viz for Airtable
Data Viz for Airtable was a project I live-streamed for the #24HourStartup weekend. The extension allows you to quickly see your Airtable data in a chart on every new tab. I'd love to expand on this project in the future with multiple charts and extend it to a Google Data Studio connector.
Since 2009, I've been working on Origins Scientific Research Society – a publishing platform for undergrads and non-traditional scientists to share their research.
The project is on hold. I have new tools and techniques nowadays that I think might be the trick to a sustainable framework. (No more InDesign!) Until then, you can browse prior issues in all their flipbook glory and learn about some neat stuff!
I've shipped some cool projects.
I started professionally designing websites in 2012. I bounce back and forth from code-intensive to low/no-code solutions.
In 2019, I had the pleasure of launching: a website redesign for the Congressional Hunger Center, an award website for the LBJ Foundation, a student job-matching platform for MIT Innovation Initiative, among others with Deytah.
Today, I actively work on User Experience and produce the results required for a project via web design, front-end development, automation, photography, database architecture, no code, with code, you name it!
I am a proud unicorn learning everyday so I can create the best solution for the problem at hand. Let's create a web for everyone.
# The Congressional Hunger Center
Web Design & WordPress Development
Responsibilities: Stakeholder interviews, information architecture (IA) design, wireframes, web design, custom development, analytics implementation, and hosting optimizations.The goal: Redesign the Congressional Hunger Center website to direct various audiences to the most relevant content, give the organization room to grow with additional program offerings, create smart reusable content blocks, be mobile responsive, and have a new, fresh modern look.The result: The new website launched in September 2019 complete with reusable and interactive content thoughtfully narrated for each audience type. The new site is clean, modern and features an abundance of imagery. The future: Using analytics through events, goals, and segments, I look forward to assisting the organization with optimizing their application process for fellowship and internship cohorts.
Responsibilities: Wireframing, Content Strategy, Web Design, and Accessibility.The goal: Design a low-cost, low-maintenance site to present architecture and education services that is macular degeneration future-proof.The result: Archinia relaunched with AA standards in place with a visual portfolio of work in preservation, education, sustainability, and more! The future: The site is publicly available on GitHub for continued collaboration to reach AAA standards and transcribe every photograph in alt text so Rachel will always be able to see her work through words. Wishlist: I'm hoping to retrofit the site with Netlify CMS to replace Medium as the blog.
# CNM MILE: The History of New Mexico
Multimedia Specialist @ Central New Mexico Community College
Developed a multimedia interactive learning experience, to serve as a traditional textbook-replacement written by Brandon Morgan, Ph.D. Completed in Inkling Habitat after 2 years of production and development. It includes a few hours of video interviews with experts, interactive maps and graphics, tool tip glossary definitions + inline footnotes, hundreds of historical photographs, and of course text.Initially the product was developed in Xcode as an iOS app. It then transitioned to iBooks Author. Upon later consideration, it was converted into Inkling Habitat to be web based so it was device agnostic. It was first sold to CNM students in Fall 2015 for the online course.
# Dakota Marketplace
UX Design & Development
After initially drafting the app user flow in June 2018, I got to design the front-end of the app with Angular, Material Angular, and SCSS.I led the information architecture set-up in Directus to replace the original WordPress/mySQL combination then was taught how to use the headless CMS within the Angular app.
No Code & UX Development
No Code: Automated the assessment process from paper/mail to web forms, from Microsoft Access logs to Airtable, and scoring+award management to Airtable+Zapier.Divi Templating: Pictured is a page's before (left) and after (right) that needed all the juicy important content presented toward the top of the page. That page resulted in many designed elements which are now saved to the Divi theme for reuse in the future.Some Code: Occasionally resolve Divi conflicts and other plugin CSS-related shenanigans.
# LeadSites Sign Up + Pricing
UX Developer @ Easy Agent Pro
Responsibilities: Content Strategy, Web Design, Web Development, and Analytics. The goal: Design a sign up page compatible with the new checkout system and increase 30-day trial conversions. The result: By leveraging our Brand Story, common FAQs, transparent pricing, and key product features, we achieved our goal with a 12% increase in conversions.Note: As the pages have since evolved under new ownership, screenshots are included of the originals.
# LeadSites Onboarding
UX Developer @ Easy Agent Pro
Responsibilities: User Research and Analytics.The goal: Identify "aha" moments to present on the Dashboard starting page to inform users of required next steps, easy first actions, and encourage product exploration. The result: Instead of prompting users to connect Google Analytics immediately, Onboarding provides all LeadSite users simple actions to take during their trial period. Additionally, Mixpanel was installed to track completion rate and reach out to new users who need additional help.
# E-Morgaine & The Ruby Bird
Web & Graphic Design
I've been working with Morgan on her various websites from Blogger to Weebly then Carrd and (currently) Webflow.I also drew both her logos :D (When I first designed the E-Morgaine logo I did not own professional graphics software, so the result was an arduous combination of Microsoft Paint and PowerPoint!!)
# And More!
The Sydney Chronicles • Infendo Radio • The Mentor Group • Tiger Prints 3D • Los Alamos High Flyers Gymnastics • Anthropology at University of New Mexico • Get My Kid Fit
I love working with my favorite toys.
I only recommend products I use and love. If you sign up for any of these tools with my affiliate link, I receive a small credit to my account at no cost to you!
# My Current JAMstack
GitHub • Eleventy • Nunjucks • Markdown • SVG • TailwindCSS • PostCSS/PurgeCSS • Netlify • Netlify CMS
# Get Things Done
# Usability Meets Design
Paper & Pencil • Flowmapp • Figma • Affinity Photo • Affinity Designer • Affinity Publisher • PhotoPea • Icon Jar • ImageOptim • Moo
# Code Ideas to Life
# Communicate with People
Telegram • Whereby • Slack • Discord • Zoom
# Biz Ops
# Crunch Data
Fathom Analytics • Google Analytics • Google Data Studio
# Media for the Masses
Canva • iMovie • Adobe Premiere Pro • YouTube
OBS for macOS • Twitch • Stream Elements • Kruiz Control • Nightbot • iShowU Audio Capture • Soundflower
I've replaced some of my tools over the years. Others, I end up using for other people but am not a fan. There's a few others on my radar that I'd like to try out some day (when there's a right fit and budget!) on projects.
# Used in the Past
Baremetrics • Mixpanel • PhantomBot • Timely • Hike • Zenkit • Webflow • InVision • Adobe Illustrator • Adobe Photoshop • Adobe InDesign • Front
# Infrequent / Not a Fan
Infusionsoft by Keap • Coda • Notion • Jotform • Calendly • Stream Labs
# Keeping an Eye On but Don't Use (Yet)
Forestry • Simple Analytics • Mode • Qlik • Ionic Studio • Memberstack • Gather Content • Help Scout
And then there's the graveyard. A very salty graveyard lacking desirable replacements.
# RIP: Services I Loved & Remain Salty About
Kifi (acq. 2016 by Google Spaces) • Google Spaces (2017) • Inbox by Google (2019) • Google Play Music (2020) • Meetingbird (2020)
If you know of a solid replacement for any of these, please tell me!! Bonus points for privacy focused.
Hi! I'm Melanie Magdalena, aka M2, and I create things.
# I Create
I'm on a mission to create a web for everyone by leveraging:
User Experience • Product Design • Digital Media • Project Management • Business Operations • Automation Systems
# I Work With
Non-Profits • Entrepreneurs • Open Source • Open Science • Online Education • Content Creators • Small Businesses • Startups • Software as a Service
During the never-ending year of quarantine, I've logically started a fourth venture: Somehow Qualified. It will be the home for Stream Sites and other indie content creator experiments we come up with.
I also work with two great friends at our agency Deytah - where we transform complicated problems into beautiful, simple solutions for nonprofits and small businesses.
Somehow Qualified (2020-Present): Making things for the internet; focused on tools and knowledge for indie content creators.Deytah (2019-Present): Creative digital consultancy working primarily with nonprofits and small businesses.REArt (2011-2012): I made jewelry and misc. decor out of recycled items and sold them at craft shows. Origins Scientific Research Society (2009-2018, on pause): An open science initiative that publishes independent research by students, citizen scientists, and professionals.
I have a Bachelor's of Science in Anthropology – concentrated in Archaeology with a minor in Earth and Planetary Science – aka I have a piece of paper to dig up dead peoples' trash 😉
I've traveled around Mesoamerica for research and fun. You're invited to explore my journey from archaeology to web tech, their intersection, and all the fun bits in between.
Anthropology is probably the most useful degree to learn about how people not only think, but how they interact with the world around them.
I'm self-taught in digital media, design strategy, development, and accessibility. I love open source, open science, and open knowledge.
Let's create a web for everyone!
I love traveling and photographing my adventures. My journey is sprinkled with presentations, awards, and events. Here are some miscellaneous highlights I'm rather fond of and/or helped shape where I am at today:
🎉 Co-Founded Somehow Qualified with FatsackFails
😷 COVID-19 happened
📣 First time on a podcast - BuiltOnAir Season 3 Episode 8
🚀 Launched Automators Academy
🎉 Co-Founded Deytah
⏳ Started Stream Sites
🏎 Blessed by the gigabit: Google Fiber
🌙 Trifecta: Super Blue Blood Moon Total Eclipse @ Albuquerque, NM
🌑 Great American Total Solar Eclipse @ North Platte, NE
📷 "Illuminate" - First photo featured in Unsplash + added to the Mac App
🏅 Award: NAPW VIP Woman of the Year - Multimedia
📣 Featured in NAPW's Women 360: Member Spotlight
🖥 Developed Media Labs for Distance Learning faculty
📊 Presented: Beyond PoisonPoint - Enhancing Your Course with Multimedia + Augmented Video - It's More Than Pressing Play
🏅 Award: Superior Undergraduate Student
🎓 Certifications: Blackboard Admin Course Delivery & Content Management
📣 Recognition: UNM Anthropology Newsletter
⛏ Field work: Gateway to the Americas II @ on a boat in Alaska
📊 Presented: Inked - A 5,000 Year Old Tattooing Tradition Among Us
📷 Became a Google Glass Explorer
⛏ Belize Valley Archaeological Reconnaissance Project @ San Ignacio, Belize
⛏ Geoarchaeology @ San Luis de Cabezón, NM with Bureau of Land Management + Office of Contract Archaeology
🎒 Archaeological Site-Hopping for "Doomsday 2012" @ Yucatan Peninsula, Mexico + Belize
🔭 Transit of Venus @ Round Rock, TX
📖 Published the first issue of Origins + archaeological research in The Silo and AncientPlanet Online Journal
🎪 Coordinated ACC's 1st Annual Social Media Communication Forum
📣 Interviews: The Daily Lobo, "Plying Their Craft" @ UNM Art Fair + Paper.li, "Melanie Magdalena: Digital Indiana Jones"
🏅 Awards: Public Anthropology (+ campus recognition) + National Excellence in Leadership + Amigo Transfer Scholarship @ University of New Mexico
🎓 Certification: Site Recognition & Documentation
⛏ Ethnoarchaeology @ Orange Walk, Belize
⛏ Colonial archaeology @ Rancho de las Cabras, TX
🐬 Internship @ Dolphins Plus, Key Largo, FL: Marine mammal conservation + animal psychology
🎓 Certification: PADI Open Water Diver
✈️ Started Origins on a plane ride from Mexico City to Austin